PopVille: The Pop Up City

31 05 2011
By Lizzie Bird
Exploring Brussels, I think on the search for Belgium waffles, a few of us stumbled across a centre for children’s books Le Wolf. Inside I found a children’s pop-up book PopVille which I fell a little bit in love with.  As you are turn each page you build a pop-up city – see the video.  Each page in Popville corresponds to a moment of urban development – from an isolated church amongst the trees to a bustling metropolis packed with streets, factories and stations.  Just like any city some landscape references stay the same while others disappear to make way for new developments.  The unpredictability of what will be there when you turn the page is all part of the fun just like the spontaneity that exists when living in a city.
Over the past couple of years the impact of the recession, falling values, lack of demand for commercial space and tight funding conditions have meant there is a real possibility of development sites laying empty for a number of years.  An ever more popular solution to the increasing number of derelict sites seems to be exploring temporary uses in towns and cities.  A recent exhibition at New London Architecture, Pop Up City explored ideas for temporary improvements to the urban fabric as response to change in the city see more at NLA Pop Up City  



2 responses

2 06 2011
Home Sweet Home: A Tool for Community Participation? « NCL Urban Design Blog

[…] being enchanted by the Pop-up book PopVille see PopVille: The Pop Out City while doing some research for my design thesis I came across a project by Subject to Change […]

3 06 2011

It is interesting to point out how the economic distress of these days is seeing development sites empty and the clearing of others. It’s basically like looking at Popville in reverse!

This is truly occurring in Adelaide Terrace, Benwell – development stopped, the church is boarded up, the hotel is a derelict ruin, shops closed, etc

Nevertheless, the latter situation was turned into an opportunity in Sheffield. The display windows of closed shops were utilized by visual marketing students, where every month they designed and setup a display advertising works by local creative people.

The result – the local firms increased their sales, the displays attract more people to the centre, increasing the vibrancy of the area whilst increasing the potential retaining of rgraduates and skilled people in Sheffield!

That suggests new accommodations would be built, services and transport links enhanced, etc – a real Popville developing with every page of current occurrances!

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